Brendan Moar offers the following tips to gardening and design success.
Before getting stuck into the practical side of garden design like choosing plants, pavers and pots, Brendan suggests finding your 'sense of place' - what makes your garden special?Brendan says gardens that harness a 'sense of place' are soulful. They don't resort to copying garden themes or styles. They're original, personal spaces that tell stories of the people who live in the garden and the place they inhabit.
Leave your own personal mark on the design by asking yourself what it means to live where you do, and what makes the garden and surrounding area special.
On a more practical, hands-on level, Brendan suggests:When buying plants, look for similar conditions in the garden centre to those at home. For example, if your garden receives loads of sun, check out the plants in the sunny part of the garden centre.If you buy just one gardening tool, make it a fork. You can use it to dig, weed, mulch, split up plants and shift things. Go for a stainless steel or hand-forged variety with a fibreglass handle, and do your back a favour and buy the right size for your height.Water restrictions mean that now is not the best time to plant new trees and shrubs - they need more water than most. Water plants in the morning, giving them a lot of water at less-frequent intervals. This encourages plants to put down good roots, ensuring optimum growth. Also, water with a watering can or trigger nozzle and cover garden beds with a layer of mulch to cut down on evaporation.When moving house, resist doing anything to the garden for the first twelve months. Observe the garden during every season and take note of how you use the space.
Make a date to mulch at least twice a year - it is perhaps the most essential garden maintenance task, and the most overlooked.